Populie: We Support the Troops… September 17, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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we support our troops

The greatest courtesy I can offer to any of my readers is to attempt to provide a non-prejudiced format of information which is vacant of opinion. (Of course, this is basically impossible to do since I am a mortal, and love to hear the sound of my own voice.) But let me attempt to be more faithful with today’s populie.

In the first one hundred years of our existence as a nation–1776 to 1876–our young, fledgling experiment was involved in nineteen years of war. In other words, 19% of the time we were sending young men off to die in some sort of escapade “for freedom.”

In the next one hundred years–from 1876 to 1976–we were involved in seventeen years of war. 17%. A drop.

From 1976 to 2001, a span of twenty-five years, we took three of those to be involved in war, placing us in a descending 12%.

But from 2001 to present–thirteen years–we have been involved in eleven years of war. An astounding 86% spike.

This increase in blood, guts, aggression and interference has caused us to develop several national policies, quietly, to sustain this burdensome effort. Among them is the popular notion that the military is honorable and should be given special consideration, and the hypocritical populie of “we support the troops.”

Entertainment loves it because even though they tout themselves to be liberals who want to preserve the turtle doves in some park, they have never met a movie that does not require a gun.

Religion favors this populie because it gives us something to pray for, allowing us to feel we’re transforming the world one bullet at a time.

And of course, politicians not only rattle their sabers, but occasionally brandish them to warn infidels and heathen of the power of our nation, while stirring the blood of the voters in their favor.

Do you really want to support the troops? Then get real instead of putting on a phony patriotism and a theatrical appreciation for our men and women who serve. Here’s how you can support the troops:

1. Stop starting wars that have nothing to do with us.

If we really believe we’re a Christian nation, we should only attack if we’re attacked. Period. I will guarantee you that soldiers would be satisfied to be “at readiness” instead of in peril.

2. If you find yourself in the position of starting a war which is considered to be necessary, then institute the draft.

Don’t go to your volunteer army or your reserves and ask them to take on innumerable tours of duty because you don’t want to bother the elite young people of our country. I will tell you, if George W. Bush had instituted the draft in 2003, the Iraq War would not have lasted more than four years, and if it had, there would have been protesters in the street, just as there were in 1970 regarding Vietnam.

3. Take care of the obvious needs of our veterans, granting them the dignity of acclimating back into society without being impoverished second-class citizens.

Don’t tell me you support the troops and then fail to notice that we are not taking care of their medical needs or helping them get off the street–homeless ex-soldiers.

I do not like a charade. Since we have come across the same situation we had in the Civil War, in which our weaponry has outgrown our medical ability to take care of the human body, we might want to slow up the carnage so we don’t have so many combatants trying to move around without limbs and hampered by severe brain injuries.

The United States has decided it’s the Roman Empire, and just as the Romans did, we are beginning to over-extend ourselves under the guise of being the “muscle men of the world”–to eventually be taken down by our version of Vandals from Germany, whom I am sure the Romans also considered to be terrorists.

I support the troops with all my heart–so much so that I work for peace, I challenge avarice and I question my government when it tries to excite the populace by waving the flag over the next conflict.

 

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Arrest Obama … December 5, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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arrest ObamaAs I drove off last night to Auburn, Georgia, to meet some delightful human folk, I was about to get on I-75 going south when I noticed a young man dressed in camouflage, running up and down the sidewalk, carrying a sign that read, “Arrest Obama.” He was screaming so loud that even though my windows were rolled up, I could hear his complaints with every rant and rave.

It gave me pause.

What causes us to believe that the inclusion or removal of certain factors from our lives will make things better, when we know, deep in our hearts, that we’ll still be stuck with ourselves?

Even if you gave this young man his wish and had the President of the United States arrested for whatever crimes the protestor deemed necessary, he would still have to go home, look in the mirror and deal with his bungles.

America has become victimized by the notion that changing our surroundings actually changes things.

Candidly, I don’t quite see the difference between the presidency of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. They both found themselves overwhelmed by a position they underestimated, surrounded by vicious critics, and locked out of means of leadership because of political parties grappling for power.

By the same token, you can go to your local church and hear messages of how sin and immorality is destroying our country, or on the other hand, how intolerance is debilitating us and we should do better.

We just don’t get it.

  • President Obama is not my problem.
  • The Republican Party is not my obstacle.
  • Sin, degradation and all the flaws that are often flaunted in our culture are not what is holding me back.

Here is a simple two-step process which will give you the truth of the matter and therefore make you free:

  1. I am my worst problem.
  2. I am my best possibility.

I have just given you a paraphrase of what Jesus said when he explained to his followers that “the kingdom of God is within you.”

Whenever we look for a scapegoat or a reason for the destruction of society outside of our own efforts, we not only miss the boat, we sink the Titanic.

I don’t agree with things done by either political party. I have great differences with the religious system that exists in our country.

Here’s the truth: I don’t care. They don’t control my life. Honest to God, they rarely impact my life. What does bounce off of me everyday are my unresolved conflicts and trying to motivate myself to be creative and use my talents instead of allowing despair to render me immobile.

If we believe in God, we must understand that He breathed His life into us. Trying to find God in church, nature, other people, sermons or even the Bible will be impersonal, second-hand information. Finding God in your own heart by recognizing your own problems and tapping your abilities is the definition of true spirituality.

I felt great sadness for my brother screaming and yelling on the sidewalk yesterday. Not because of his politics, but because he is a victim of a fad philosophy which wants to blame the world for our own lives.

I am my worst problem. In like manner, I am my best possibility.

Once I come to terms with this, I can begin to be valuable to myself and others instead of a nit-picking old lady … fussing over the placement of the doilies.

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Unconventional… August 31, 2012

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I received contact this week from two friends. Both of them are believers in the life and times of Jesus. One is a Republican and one is a Democrat. They were each  sharing their particular rendition of what they believe to be the best profile for our nation in the upcoming four years. Each one believes himself to be a patriot of some sort; each one thinks that the other political party is detrimental, if not dangerous, to the progression of our country’s values.

Neither one believes that the philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth can be applied in purity into a real-world situation of social and political upheaval. They honor the idealism of the Master but doubt that the range of ideas that Jesus presented would practically work in real-time situations. How do I know this?

Because one’s a Republican and one’s a Democrat.

They pursue movements that utilize the name of Christ, but fail to engage his heart and will. They revere political ideas that truly praise him with their lips but keep their hearts far from him.

Here are two outstanding examples of Jesus principles that escape both approaches:

1. You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free.  It seems that you can not be involved in politics and keep the sanctity of that idea. Matter of fact, it’s joked about and even given other names, like “disinformation” and “playing loose with the facts.” Here’s what I know: those who gathered in Tampa this week did so failing to recognize their most recent President, George W. Bush, and pretending as if the eight years of his administration did not exist. That’s called a lie. Maybe they didn’t like what he did. Then they should explain how the new platform and ideas will differ. Maybe they thought he got a bum rap from the press. Then they should speak to his honor and his goals. But to totally ignore eight years of a Presidency from your party during a time when you are allegedly celebrating your aspirations and victories is misleading and downright dishonoring of the truth.

And the Democrats will gather in Charlotte next week and will continue to do what they have been pursuing for the past several months–fail to take responsibility for the lackluster performance of the past four years. Honestly, there may be reasons for it. It isn’t like America exists as an island unto itself, able to produce all of its own products and provide its own resources. We are part of a global economy and there certainly are difficulties that arise because of our dependence upon other nations. But instead, the Democrats pretend. They pretend that things are a little better. They pretend that they do not have any responsibility in their Democratic party for what has transpired over the past four years. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats do go back and invoke the name of George W. Bush–as the villain of the situation.

So Jesus says the lack of truth from both parties will cause our nation to be absent of freedom.

2.  Secondly, I become concerned with the political leanings of my two friends–one Republican and one Democrat–because Jesus told us that “the poor will be with us always and we should do what we can for them.” Unfortunately, that is not what I heard in Tampa this week with the Republicans. The Republicans hold to the concept that hard work brings prosperity, everybody wants to be better off and if we all just pull together, we can all be financially solvent and successful. We know this isn’t true. We know that no matter how hard some people work, there are limits on wages for that particular occupation, and certainly doors closed to advancement that would take them into a new tax bracket. It isn’t an issue of whether we discourage people from trying to climb up the economic ladder; it’s just that some people are given shorter ladders. To extol those who succeed with what we consider to be the obvious evidence of financial prosperity, while ignoring those who are still successful in their own way, but without the “dough to show for it,” is not only short-sighted, but could be deemed by the Master to be mean-spirited.

On the other hand, those Democrats who will gather in Charlotte contend they are on a mission to eliminate poverty by trying to make things more fair in the realm of capitalism. Let’s understand two things: (1) capitalism isn’t fair. It rewards those who have the most and then gives head starts to them in the race; (2) Jesus said “the poor you will have with you always.” We are not going to eliminate poverty. What we can do is give everybody a chance to excel and then provide an idea for what happens if they fall short.

As you can see, I’ve only mentioned two of the hallmark principles of Jesus, and both parties fail miserably to either address the ideas or set in motion a plan to honor the principles.

So as I thought about my two friends who are Christians, who have divided into separate political camps, I realized that the reason I remain apolitical is that I am not willing to sacrifice precious, powerful precepts which I know work in an attempt to compromise on lesser notions that have been historically proven to be ineffective.

We need something unconventional–but it is unlikely that this will ever come out of a political convention.

  • The Republicans need to be honest about the administration of George W. Bush, take responsibility, and offer a plan on how they might right their own wrongs.
  • The Democrats need to admit that they had no idea of the scope of the difficulties they were facing and that they spent their time spreading around idealism instead of hard-core principles to address the issues. They failed to embody the idea of hope–and the Bible says that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

Heartsick. That might be a good description of the American spirit.

So for those of you who insist on pursuing a political solution, may I point out a criteria for what you should require before releasing your vote? Here are the two questions. Which party comes closest to the truth by November 6th? And which party has a realistic approach to poverty instead of idealism or placing the issue on the back burner?

One thing is for certain–our country will need a little bit of luck and an awful lot of blessing to come out of this spin. To do that we must honor something other than ourselves. We must tip our hats to history, respect one another, work together and never stain the facts by ignoring the truth.

I love both of my friends dearly. I am just sorry that they are sacrificing the power of their belief for a temporary solution. The end result could be a complete loss of respect for the truth and the ignoring of the poor.

Jesus’ response to that would be, “I never knew you.”

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